Olympia Solange is a very special blonde lady. A performer, art director and DJ, she can come alive in complete glamour any time there’s an invitation worth taking.
How did Olympia grow up?
I’m a real Parisian going back generations. Although I have traveled a lot because of my work, I’ve always lived in Paris.
I started to learn classical dance when I was eight and my parents used to take me to all the famous cabaret shows like Lido, Moulin Rouge, Alcazar, Paradis Latin and Michou. That’s how I fell in love with the stage.
When I was 18, in the 80s, it was the New Romantics fashion era. Bleached or colored hair, pale face, black lips, eyes lined with khol, strong blush, black nails… I loved it. I watched music videos and I learned how to do my make up, then I created impersonations like Nina Hagen and Siouxies Sioux. I started to do dance performances. At the time most of the clubs had shows and I was booked almost every night. Step by step Olympia was born.
The blonde lady I am today arrived a bit later when I started to perform in the revue of the legendary drag cabaret Madame Arthur that originally opened in 1946 with famous Queens like Coccinelle, Bambi and so many others.
Then I got a great opportunity to work as an art director for the famous DJ Bob Sinclar. He hosted the Paris By Night parties at the legendary Ibiza club Pacha. Every Saturday the club was lit up like the streets of Paris and the crazy, sexy show I created came alive on stage.
What does the blonde lady need to transform into the famous Solange?
A good wardrobe, of course. Solange needs clothes to be perfect on all occasions – not many but the right ones. I love shopping flea markets and vintage stores around the world. When I’m in California I always visit the Rose Bowl Flea Market to find rare pieces. If I have a special idea I work with costume designers to make my vision come true.
Solange also has amazing hair… well, that’s the less fun part. I spend hours in the hairdresser’s chair with a wig on my head while he creates his art. It’s difficult to find a good wig hairdresser. Styling a wig is very different to styling natural hair. I use wigs made mostly with fake hair because they hold their style longer – if the wig is made from real hair you have to go back to the hairdresser after one night.
I have two wig hairdressers. One of them is Marc Orsatelli in Paris (IG @marcorsatelli) who works on major fashion shows like Gaultier and Galliano and for many stars. The other one is Marco from Milan (IG @marcoswig). He is very creative, making any hair fantasy a reality and ships it to you in a big box.
I have more than 20 wigs. I’ve got three cellars in my building where I store all my costumes and my wigs on polystyrene heads on shelves, ready to wear.
Solange is always ready to appear…
Wherever I go Solange is always in my suitcase. You never know… it depends on the outfit but I can take a full glamour gown, make up and hair in a small bag.
What is your daily routine?
Right now things have slowed down so I have time to do yoga, practice dance and of course I work on my DJ sets. I have a huge collection of records. I mix very different music styles from disco to new-wave, electro house to 60s-70s music. I love sharing my music with people and making them happy. I love people and I love having good energy around me. Peace and love. Always.
What about performing?
There are fewer performers at clubs, fewer cabarets in the world, less space for live shows. In the pandemic there’s not much you can do besides do your shows online but it’s nothing compared to having a live audience around you, feeling the vibes, the energy and sharing unique moments together.
For me performing is a magical experience. It helps me have more self-confidence and it’s always a great joy – despite the stage fright that knots my stomach.
Performing is forever. You can do it till your dying day. Look at Bette Davis or Lauren Bacall – their roles evolved as they aged. You have to constantly reinvent yourself and that’s very inspiring.
Thumbnail pic credit: Ali Mahdavi
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